The parade, scheduled for 11:00, started at noon, and stretched for all of 15 minutes. Led by the Carolina Corral, it also included, in order, the Virgin Islands Police and Fire Departments, Miss St John (Tonya Powell) and St. John Jr. Miss 2004; St. John Prince and Princess 2004; the Middle Age Majorettes; the Rising Stars Pan Band; the Animal Care Center of St. John; and St. John Rescue. A good time was had by all! This was followed by a food fair and “tramp” at the Coral Bay ball field, and a flashlight walk after dark. (Courtesy Brad Felmly, Starlit Escape.)
St. John’s Craig Barshinger has signed up to make another run at the At-Large seat in the VI Senate. He’s been trying in each election since 1996, collecting 40 percent of the vote in 2002, but still losing to incumbent Sen. Almando Liburd. Barshinger is one of 51 people who filed to compete for the 15 seats which are up for election on Nov. 2. All 15 incumbents are running for reelection and have presented their petitions. A primary election will be held Sept. 11. Thirty candidates are running for 7 seats from St. Croix, 16 on St. Thomas for 7 spots, and five people will contest the At Large seat. VI delegate to Congress Donna Christensen is running for her fifth term but has opposition from three candidates.
A Mayor-Council form of managing St. John has been part of discussions being held by an Island Council Committee formed with the encouragement of Gov. Charles Turnbull. The Committee sponsored by the St. John Community Foundation met at Fish Trap restaurant to proceed with work on a proposal for the Governor. Craig Barshinger suggested locals could vote for members of an island council, despite concern voiced by one woman who worried people from St. Thomas and St. Croix would also participate in the balloting and overwhelm St. John citizens’ interests, the St. John Source reported. Carol DeSenne, executive director of the Foundation, said the committee plans town meetings and will distribute brochures to involve more people in the discussion and planning.
J.U.B. King and Associates of St. Thomas has been awarded a $205,900 contract to install more attractive security fencing at the ferry docks at Red Hook and Cruz Bay. The firm will do similar work at the Crown Bay cargo and passenger docks as part of security precautions required by Homeland Security. The fencing in Cruz Bay, replacing standard cyclone fence, will be made of slim, silver 6-foot high vertical bars, with horizontal bars in a darker trim, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported. The work is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Dozens of islanders filled a meeting room at the Legislature Building in Cruz Bay to complain about problems with the police department recently. Commissioner Elton Lewis attended and said the department is on a crusade to polish its image by teaching officers how to treat residents and visitors, according to a report in the St. John Source. Lewis said officers will get “customer-centric training” in hopes of improving relations with the community. “It’s 20 percent technology, but we need the human touch,” he said.
A daylight home-invasion robbery and an armed robbery of tourists at Concordia has gotten the attention of St. John administrator Julien Harley. “We musty have a sense of urgency” about getting a police presence on the east end of the island, he told the Virgin Islands Daily News. He said the assaults threaten the way of life on St. John, “and we can’t have that.” Senator At Large Almando Liburd said he will lend his effort to helping the police commissioner receive $250,000 already appropriated by the Senate for a police facility in Coral Bay. “It’s definitely needed,” he said.